Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Zürich to Paris by TGV Lyria

In the summer of 2015 I had a chance to travel by Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris. Thalys, as well as Lyria are subsidiaries of SNCF Voyage division, responsible for high speed international routes. Thalys was established 1996, while Lyria 2002. The common for both Thalys and Lyria is the on board service in 1st class including in seat served meals and beverages.
 Today I'm taking TGV Lyria from Zurich to Paris (for further journey to Barcelona by another TGV).  A journey from Zurich to Paris is taking about 4h, thanks to the recently opened (in 2011) LGV Rhin-Rhône high speed line in France, allowing speeds of 320km/h. Before opening of Rhin-Rhône line, the trains were taking LGV Est which opened 2007, the travel time then took 4h 30m, and before any of these high speed lines were opened, travel time was 5h 50m between Zurich and Paris.
 1st class coach
 Today it is double tractioned TGV Lyria, but it seemed that only one of the trains were carrying passengers.
 As I mentioned earlier, a tri current TGV POS train is used for most TGV Lyria services, 1,5kV DC for standard railway in France, 25kV AC for high speed rails, and 15kV AC for Swiss railways (same as for German).
 TGV Lyria Bar coach.
 First stop is still is Switzerland, it is the city of Basel.
 Basel station.
 Since Basel is so close to the border of both France and Germany, it is almost unnoticeable how quick we are getting into France, here is EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg.
 Arriving to Mulhouse, which is the first stop in France. The platform was full of soldiers with automatic weapons, so I decided to not take any photo at the station.
 After a short while, the train is getting on the new LGV Rhin-Rhône high speed line, with the last stop before Paris - Belfort Montbéliard TGV. As many other stops along high speed lines in France, the new stations are built just outside the city centres, in order to make some TGV trains pass the stations with full speed without stopping. In this case it is 9km to Belfort and 18km to Montbéliard.
 Breakfast is served (and included in the price ticket of 1st class). You get the choice between cheese and ham or natural yoghurt, I took the first.

LGV Rhin-Rhône is the newest high speed line in France and one of the other seven LGV's (Ligne à Grande Vitesse). The train I was taking could reach the maximum allowed speed.
 Since the new line is "only" 140km long, with 320km/h speed the travel time is very quick.
 After some time we reach Dijon, where the LGV Rhin-Rhône high speed line is ended.

 The long TGV Lyria train is approaching Dijon.
 We pass Dijon without stopping.
 Now the TGV Lyria is using the conventional tracks to reach LGV Sud-Est for further trip to Paris.
 Very convenient holders for jackets in this train.
 Now we can see LGV Sud-Est which we are connecting to at Aisy. LGV Sud-Est was the first high speed line in France and Europe and was build as far as 1981.
 At LGV Sud-Est the maximum allowed speed is 300km/h.
For 60km the LGV Sud-Est line runs next to A5 Autoroute.
 We are getting closer to Paris, here nearby Le Vert de Maisons.
 Arriving to Paris from the south.
 The train has arrived to Gare de Lyon station, which is one of six other large railway stations in Paris. It is the third busiest station in Paris (and France) after Gare du Nord and Gare Saint Lazare.
 TGV POS train as all TGV's is manufactured by french Alstom.
 The current station building is from 1900

 TGV POS and TGV PSE (Paris Sud-Est) trains to the left.
 The main ticket hall with the "Gallery of the frescos" representing different towns in France served by Gare de Lyon.

The main facade and the clock tower


  1. Wow... very luxurious train it was... I love to travel with this train from Zurich to Paris. Thanks for sharing complete information on train traveling.